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Turquoise Puya

Pepino

One of the best-kept secrets from the Andes!  The Pepino - also called the Melon Pear - is a rare and delicious fruit you're not likely to find in markets.  It's neither a melon nor a pear, but is related to tomatoes and eggplant.  It tastes sort of like a cross between a honeydew melon and a cucumber, hence the Spanish name "pepino dulce".  The attractive, purple-striped fruits are slightly larger than an egg, although some can get to 5" across.  They have a nice exotic fragrance and are not overly sweet.  They're great when chilled and sliced into salads, or just eat them straight off the plant!

Growing in a hanging basket

Pepino (Solanum muricatum) is a perennial plant that grows slightly smaller than a tomato bush.  It tends to take on a trailing habit, but you can stake it upright like a tomato.  It is highly productive, and only one plant is needed to make fruit.  It does prefer slightly cooler temperatures than tomatoes, and may drop its flowers if temperatures rise above the low-80s, so it is not suitable for consistently hot areas.  It grows great in a pot indoors, provided that the air isn't too dry.  Outdoors, it can handle only a degree or two of frost, so protect it from freezing temperatures.  Like tomatoes, it prefers moist, well-draining soil and regular feeding.  Full sun is best, although some afternoon shade might be needed in warmer areas.

Pepino dulce - Solanum muricatum

Pepino doesn't grow true from seed, so it's best to use a propagated plant from a tasty parent.   

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Detailed growing tips about this plant

 

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Turquoise Puya

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